Author: Grace Mutung’u
Stakeholderism in African Internet Governance: the Case of the .africa gTLD
In 2012, ICANN announced plans to delegate over 1000 new generic top level domain names, one of which was the long awaited .africa.
To date, the .africa domain has not gone live due to a dispute involving two similar applications- one endorsed by the African Union while the other made by a private entity. The dispute points to planning and policy gaps in the African Internet governance multistakeholder community. It also shows the capacity challenges that have hindered Africans from participating strategically and fully in ICANN. This study discusses the dispute with the proposition that inclusion of more stakeholders in policy and decision making will help Africa navigate international policy discussions more effectively and efficiently.